Tag Archives: Halloween

On Halloween Remember the World’s Hungry

This Halloween please remember the world's hungry (photo courtesy USA.gov)

It’s Halloween 2011 and time for the Wolfman, Dracula, and other monsters and ghosts to have their one night of the year. And let’s not forget Egypt’s famous Halloween contribution, the Mummy, and a couple of creatures that have appeared in this column when they helped with fundraisers, the Mothman and the Yeti.

Halloween means lots of candy too! In fact billions of dollars are spent on Halloween festivities. But this year please take a silent guest with you when trick or treating, or at your Halloween party. You can help one of the world’s nearly one billion hungry who on Halloween, or any other day, will hope to get maybe one meal if they are lucky.

There are many ways that Halloween can be combined with fighting hunger. In fact, in 1947 students used Halloween not to collect treats but to collect canned goods for the Friendship Train that fed the hungry in war-torn Europe.

On Halloween night, maybe in place of one of the treats, you could ask for a dollar to buy a week’s worth of meals for a hungry child. You can send the dollar to food aid agencies like the World Food Programme, Save the Children, Feeding America, UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services and others.

Or perhaps take a few minutes after coming home from trick or treating to play a few rounds of the online game Free Rice. For every correct answer you get, rice is donated to the hungry in developing countries.

There are many ways you can combine Halloween and fighting hunger. For this night is one of imagination. So the best ideas are to come: from you.

Article first published as On Halloween Remember the World’s Hungry on Blogcritics.

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Halloween 2011: Add Plumpy’nut Treat for Starving Children Overseas

Add plumpy'nut for starving children overseas to this year's Halloween celebration (photo courtesy usa.gov)

There is something special that could be added to this year’s Halloween festivities. In addition to treats, why not have plumpy’nut added to each bag of candy?

What is plumpy’nut? Essentially it is a precious treat for children in developing countries because it can save their lives. The plumpy’nut family of ready-to-eat foods is a peanut paste used to treat dangerous levels of malnutrition in children ages 0-5.

Without proper nutrients in these early years, severe physical and mental damage can take hold.  Plumpy’nut can nourish these small children and change their lives forever.  Right now small infant children in Somalia, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Afghanistan and other countries are in desperate need of this food. There is extremely low funding for child feeding programs globally.

This is where Halloween comes in. If trick or treaters across America asked for some plumpy’nut with every doorbell ring, this food could be donated and save millions of lives around the world.

Since plumpy’nut is not something sold in stores, this particular treat would have to be in the form of a dollar. If you donated that dollar to the non-profit organization Edesia, which produces the life-saving food, it could then be channeled right into the production of plumpy’nut for starving children. Or you could contact the World Food Programme, Save the Children, Action Against Hunger or UNICEF who place the plumpy’nut orders with Edesia and other producers.

This plumpy’nut aspect of Halloween is something parents could set up in their neighborhoods. UNICEF has been running trick or treat campaigns since after World War II. You could also set up a plumpy’nut Halloween as part of their program.

So let this year’s Halloween have the classic themes of candy, full moon, Dracula, the Wolfman and others…but let’s welcome a new addition…..plumpy’nut. Treats for all. A Halloween for the ages.

Learn more about plumpy’nut from Rhode Island based Edesia.

Article first published as Halloween: Trick or Treat or Plumpy’nut on Blogcritics.

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A Ghostly Tale Near the Ohio River

100-4602This week at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio, I was helping to arrange a fundraiser to benefit the YWCA and global hunger relief efforts. Not far from the campus, located in Delhi Township, is the Ohio River.

You can see the river from certain vantage points looking down from the Mount. And since it’s Halloween, it’s worth mentioning a tale about a graveyard hidden away in the woods.

Many years ago, when nightfall came, residents of Delhi reported mysterious lights and the eerie tune of a fiddler coming from the graveyard. So scared were the residents that no one dared go to the cemetery. Was this a ghost? No one knew. Would anyone ever know?

In the 1960’s, a Mount St. Joseph professor, Cecil Hale, appeared to have found the answer. Henry Darby (1781-1852), a prominent abolitionist, lived right near the site of the graveyard.

scan0041Hale found out the ghost reports started during the time of the Underground Railroad. This was the secret network that guided slaves to freedom, and was extremely active in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Hale believed the strange lights and music at the graveyard were signals to slaves across the river in Kentucky that it was safe to cross. He wrote a play called the Legend of Fiddler’s Green which tells this story.

scan0040The Ohio River was indeed a major route on the Underground Railroad. So active was the area that the Underground Railroad Freedom Center was eventually located in Cincinnati.

Was this ghostly legend one way that residents of Delhi were secretly working to help operate the Underground Railroad? It appears reasonable that the ghostly mystery is indeed solved. Wait! There are some lights coming from over the hill from the direction of the college. And a strange eerie tune. Oh Great!

The global hunger relief fundraiser is to benefit the Catholic Relief Services school feeding program in Sudan, the Aschiana Foundation, and Edesia, a non-profit organization which produces plumpy’nut. For more information please write here.

Article first published as A Ghostly Tale Near the Ohio River on Blogcritics. (article first published in October 2010)

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